Sunday, August 29, 2010

Guest Blogger, Joy's Update

I am learning every day that we have to live by faith, not by feelings. I haven't been leaning on or trusting God. I have been walking in my flesh (trying to do things alone) struggling through the financial burden of G. P.S. (the bracelet). At times, it seems so hopeless. I just moved into a one bedroom apartment in July and, financially, I'm not doing so good. (Christ The Servant Church and St. Vincent dePaul are helping me with food, gas and incidentals).

I have to remember that God's word says, "He doesn't give us more than we can handle and he always makes a way out from temptation." So I am standing on his word and promises.

I struggle with wanting to go back to old behaviors by getting financial help from men (my old life of prostitution), because I am overwhelmed with G. P. S. fees, back child-support, fines and just the bills of life. Granted, I got myself into this mess with the drunk driving and I believe I should have consequences, but I wish the system was geared more to help us and not set us up for failure. Then there wouldn't be so many of us going back and doing the same old things and landing back in the same old jails and institutions. It's just a vicious cycle. Thank God for giving me the strength to stand firm and not give up.

I have successfully completed intensive outpatient treatment this past week and, in September, I will have completed over 5 years of probation. I'm still on G.P.S. until February 9, 2011, but with the help of letters from counselors and my probation officer, I am going to write the court to request a sentence reduction.

The financial burden of G.P.S. is overwhelming and I want so bad to be a self-supporting, productive person in society. I have come so far. . . I just want to move on and give back to others.

I am so grateful for the St. Vincent dePaul ministries, Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, Linda Pischke, Jean DeLisle, and other 'anonymous' supporters for all their help. Your encouragement and prayers keep me going.

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Joy is an inspiration to me. Whenever she encounters disappointment, financial problems, or difficulties, she prays, sings hymns, and praises God. She is a dedicated worker with an awesome attitude. I would like to ask our readers to hold her up in prayer this week. Employment is difficult for an ex-offender. People want to judge her because of her past. Thank You.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Prisoner to Prisoner Mentoring Program

The Prison Experience Workshop Program (P.E.W.P) is a prisoner to prisoner mentoring ministry that boast an 81% success rate in reducing recidivism. Developed by prisoner Clifford Lacey, the program has been adopted by the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The P.E.W.P. program is available free to all organization who are interested in using it to reduce recidivism. Read the entire article at EWORLDWIRE:

More information about how to access the free program materials at:

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The Women Of Block 12.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Aging Prison Population

Baby boomers are aging behind bars and their health problems are creating a burden for U.S. prisons. In 2008, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 76,000 prisoners age 55 and over - an increase of 76 percent since 1999.

Age 55 is considered elderly in the prison population compared to 65 - 70 for the general public. This is due to an earlier onset of age-related illnesses such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, strokes and other ailments. The stress of living in prison, life-long poverty, poor nutrition, and drug abuse are some of the contributing factors to this problem.

A further complication is the fact that many prison facilities are poorly equipped to deal with geriatric ailments and the high cost of caring for these individuals.

While some prisons have on-site, infirmaries, hospices, and clinics to serve aging and terminally ill prisoners, balancing care and security is a complex problem. Some of the most dangerous and persistent criminals were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole thirty years ago. They have aged in place and are now among the old, frail, and chronically ill. Studies in Pennsylvania and North Caroline found that prisoners over the age of 50 were more likely to be jailed for violent offenses such as sexual crimes and therefore were poor candidates for early release related to health problems.

The American Civil Liberties Union estimates the cost of caring for frail elderly inmates is three times more than the average prisoner and the cost is entirely absorbed by the state in which they are incarcerated. Inmates released to the community are funded by both state and federal money (Medicare and Medicaid).

In 2001, Corrections Compendium, a journal of the American Corrections Institute, summarized how 46 states are dealing with the problem of aging prisoners.

  • Sixteen maintain separate facilities to house older inmates.
  • Many provide medical treatment and provide 24 hour care in skilled nursing facilities.
  • Forty-one states offer early release.

According to the National Prison Hospice Association in Boulder, Colorado, many states now offer prison hospice services. Elderly inmates die without family or friends. Corrections officials and younger inmates must then assume the role of health care provider, grief counselor, and funeral director.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Drug Treatment Programs in Prison

"The FBI reports that drugs and alcohol are a factor in about 80 percent of the felony convictions for violent crimes, property crimes and drug offenses, and studies show that 60 percent of ex-convicts are unemployed one year after their release from prison," according to Ed Merriman writer for the Baker City Herald.

In an article published August 13, 2010, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Working At Powder River, Merriman highlights the success of a program offered to inmates at Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City, Oregon. Inmates who participate in the program have a second chance at turning their lives around and realizing their dreams. The inmates get intense drug and alcohol treatment along with basic work experience to prepare for life after incarceration.

The program claims 88 per cent of the graduates go back to the community, get a job, and succeed in providing for themselves and their families. Be sure to read the entire article at the above link.

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Visit: The Women Of Block 12 for more information about offenders.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

National Prisoner Reentry Conference

Milwaukee will host the 9th Annual National Prisoner Reentry Conference October 7 - 10th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The theme is Justice & Mercy, Maintaining Balance in Prisoner Reentry.
In addition to Christian Association for Prison Aftercare, sponsors include the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Prison Aftercare Network of Wisconsin.

The program is for those who work or volunteer in reentry. For more information visit: .

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For more information on prison ministry visit: TheWomenOfBlock12

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rape Statistics & Native Americans

Jail ministry has opened my eyes to the terrible statistics of violence against women. Many of these individuals have been raped and sexually abuse during their lifetime

There is an excellent article by at:

She is discussing a new law - The Tribal Law and Order Act which gives Native American Tribes "jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit violent crimes on tribal lands.

To summarize just a few of her findings:

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 70% of all rapes in the U.S. go unreported; other sources place the number as high as 84%.
  • Among rape victims in the general population, 74% report being physically battered in additional ways during the commission of the rape. For Native women, that number jumps to 90%.
  • Among the general population, 30% of rape victims report sustaining other physical injuries, in addition to the rape itself. Among Native women, that number is 50%.
  • Roughly 11% of rape victims as a whole report that their rapist used a weapon. For Native women, that number more than triples, to 34%.
This is an article worth reading!

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For more information visit

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